Taking Free Speech for Granted

By Richard Nelson


December 8, 2016

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One of the greatest gifts we enjoy in this nation is the freedom of speech and association which are both protected by the First Amendment. This means that we can speak in public about religion and political ideas. We can also choose our associations. In other words, the government cannot force us to associate with a group or event that tviolates our conscience. Somehow, officials in Minnesota didn't get the memo.  Current state law threatens Carl and Angel Larsen who own a videography studio with jail time if they refuse to film a same-sex wedding ceremony. The couple is in the middle of a lawsuit and if the law stands, they could face triple compensatory damages, punitive damages up to $25,000, and even up to 90 days in jail—pretty harsh considering they're simply trying to live according to their convictions.


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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center